Tash Aw's highly original first novel juxtaposes three accounts of the life of an enigmatic man at a pivotal and haunting moment in Malaysian history. The Harmony Silk Factory is the textiles store run by Johnny Lim, a Chinese peasant living in rura Tash Aw's highly original first novel juxtaposes three accounts of the life of an enigmatic man at a pivotal and haunting moment in Malaysian history. The Harmony Silk Factory is the textiles store run by Johnny Lim, a Chinese peasant living in rural Malay in the first half of the twentieth century. It is the most impressive and truly amazing structure in the region, and to the inhabitants of the Kinta Valley Johnny Lim is a hero-a Communist who fought the Japanese when they invaded, ready to sacrifice his life for the welfare of his people. But to his son, Jasper, Johnny is a crook and a collaborator who betrayed the very people he pretended to serve, and the Harmony Silk Factory is merely a front for his father's illegal businesses. Centering on Johnny from three perspectives-those of his grown son; his wife, Snow, the most beautiful woman in the Kinta Valley (through her diary entries); and his best and only friend, an Englishman adrift named Peter Wormwood-the novel reveals the difficulty of knowing another human being, and how our assumptions about others also determine who we are. Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, and Anthony Burgess have shaped our perceptions of Malaysia. Now, with The Harmony Silk Factory, we have an authentic Malaysian voice that remaps this literary landscape. Through this examination of a compelling, mysterious, and larger-than-life character, Tash Aw gives us an exquisitely written look into another culture at a moment of crisis. ...Continua Nascondi
Neatly constructed story about the intertwining lives of a self-made man, his beautiful wife, an Englishman and a Japanese in pre-Second World War Malaysia. The interaction between the characters is full of powerful undercurrents.